Bladenboro teen found safe, healthy

BLADENBORO —A teenager who went missing on Monday was found safe and sound 24 hours later, and is now back home.

Iyana Shabre Ross, 15, left her home in Bladenboro in an unknown direction, Bladenboro Police said Monday afternoon, calling the girl’s disappearance an “abduction.”

“We felt at the time, given all the evidence, that she was an endangered juvenile and an Amber Alert was issued,” said Bladenboro Police Chief Chris Hunt.

The statewide alert was canceled Tuesday at about 1:07 p.m. when Ross was found at a church near her home with the help of an anonymous tip.

“She seemed healthy,” Hunt said. “She was interviewed and there are no charges pending at this time.”

Hunt said the teen left home on her own and that she had never disappeared like that before.

“She has good parents who don’t let her run free and keep good track of her,” Hunt said. “We’re all just real happy she was found safe and healthy.”

Hunt said he was appreciative for all the assistance given in the search for Ross by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, State Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Bladen County Department of Corrections and Department of Public Security Services.

“I encourage parents to keep a healthy line of communication with your children,” Hunt said. “Talk to them about the dangers of trusting strangers. Children and teenagers need to be aware that it is very important to let their parents know where they are at all times. Parents should check on their children — even after they have been put to bed at night — to ensure their children are safe.”

If any parent or guardian suspects foul play or any problem with a child who has left home, they can call their local police department, the Sheriff’s Office at 911 or, on a cell phone, dial *HP.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.